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Team SA to carry Madiba’s legacy at Commonwealth Games

The legacy of the late Tata Nelson Mandela lives on and the fruits of his quest for freedom and democracy continue to be recognised in South African sport.

South Africas participation in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games coincides perfectly with the nations celebration of 20 years of independence. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is both excited and committed to deliver Team South Africa successfully to this prestigious event in Glasgow, Scotland in July-August.

The Commonwealth games are the third largest multi-sport event in the world, after the Olympic Games and the Asian Games. The first games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada and 11 countries and a total of 400 athletes took part in six sports and 59 events. Since then, the Games have been held every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 because of the Second World War). From 1930 to 1950 the Games were known as the British Empire Games, modified to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games from 1954 till 1966 and from 1970 to 1974 the title changed to British Commonwealth Games, in 1978 the multi- sports event changed its name to the Commonwealth Games, which are still being celebrated today.

South Africa has competed at 11 of the 19 Commonwealth Games which have been held; from the original Games in 1930 to 1958. Because of South Africas then apartheid policy, South Africa withdrew from the British Commonwealth, but was later re-admitted and participated in the games in 1994.

We would like firstly to take part in the Commonwealth Games in August, Mandela said on May 11, 1994. South Africa had not participated in the Games since 1958 and even though Madiba did not attend the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games, his shadow loomed large over the capital.

All credit goes to the late Madibas uniting spirit who believed sports can unite the world and redefine a country’s international image. Mandela used sport to transform South Africa’s image. Sport’s power to change lives and move nations is often overstated and whilst imprisoned, Madiba supported international sports.

What makes the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games even more intriguing is the fact that the Freedom of the City was bestowed on Nelson Mandela in 1994 and a street is named after him. The Freedom of the City is the greatest tribute of respect in the power of the municipality to offer any person and was conferred by the Lord Provost of Glasgow.

SASCOC is enthusiastic to deliver Team South Africa to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Says CEO of SASCOC, Tubby Reddy: As a nation, we are proud that on the five occasions that South Africa has competed to the Commonwealth Games since democracy, the medal tally has been very impressive, thereby retaining the first position among the African Continent except in 1994.

The 2014 Commonwealth games are no exception, we hope to win more medals as our athletes compete with the spirit of Tata Madiba in mind, that of a winning nation and empowering themselves through sport, he highlighted.

The Commonwealth Games hype was evident through the excitement that gripped parts of Gauteng and Cape Town when the Queens Baton Relay came to South Africa from Lesotho. As the curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games, the QBR was received with much excitement and visited the Apartheid Museum, Orlando Swimming Pool, the Daveyton community, Reiger Park, Ramaphosa informal settlement, the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, Union Buildings, Nelson Mandela Foundation and SA Rugby Museum, Cape Town.

This relay again reminded SA citizens of their freedom and democracy through showcasing the nation as a country in the Commonwealth Family as well as highlighting everyday life, cultural diversity, humanity and traditions by including as many people as possible to be part of the batons epic journey.

SASCOC is working diligently to ensure that Team SA will be delivered to the games successfully. An event of such a high magnitude has to be planned meticulously in order to execute it effectively. In preparation for the games, Commonwealth Games, South Africa Chef De Mission, Patience Shikwambana attended the Chef De Mission Seminar in Glasgow from 28 January 01 February.

Based on the meeting we had in Glasgow, the Commonwealth Games Association (CGA) is on track in their preparations for the Games. We visited some of the training facilities and competition venue facilities and they are of world class standard and it’s pleasing to note that our athletes should be happy to participate in such top of the range facilities.

The CGA has urged all participating countries to work closely with them and provide accurate information and updates to help them plan for the event. The ball is therefore in our court as the macro sporting body to ensure we meet the deadlines and all our tasks are executed professionally.

SASCOC will this month (March) submit the selection criteria to the National Federations and they rank and select the top athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games. Candidates have to meet the selection criteria, the main one being, that teams and individual competitors have to be ranked in the top five of their event among the 70 Commonwealth Countries that will be competing.Deadline for submission of potential candidates names by National Federations is 31 May. Subsequently, the High Performance Commission will evaluate the entrants, and consequently the SASCOC Board will make the final decision.

With less than 200 days to go before the games, SASCOC is getting ready to make history by making sure that this years Commonwealth Games will be an event to remember as we dedicate them to Nelson Mandela, our hero and our freedom fighter.

Notes to the Editor

SAs Medal Tally for previous Commonwealth Games

page4image3736

Games

Gold

Silver

Bronz e

Total

page4image11832

Rank

1930 Hamilton

6

4

8

18

page4image19016

3

1934 London

7

10

5

22

page4image25776

4

1938 Sydney

10

10

6

26

page4image32536

4

1950 Auckland

page4image35240

8

page4image36488

page4image36960

4

page4image37888

page4image38360

8

page4image39288

page4image39760

20

page4image40688

5

1954 Vancouver

16

6

13

35

3

1958 Cardiff

13

10

8

31

page4image52816

3

1994 Victoria

2

4

5

11

page4image59576

12

1998 Kuala Lumpur

page4image61960

9

page4image63184

11

page4image64248

14

page4image65312

34

5

2002 Manchester

page4image69080

9

page4image70800

20

page4image72200

17

page4image73600

46

6

page4image75928

2006 Melbourne

12

13

13

38

5

2010 Delhi

page4image82240

12

page4image83464

11

page4image84528

10

page4image85592

33

5

Total

page4image89760

104

page4image91168

page4image91648

102

page4image92736

page4image93216

106

page4image94304

page4image94784

312

page4image95872


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